Oil & Gas

Adam Zyglis / The Buffalo News

  A new report released in the wake of New York State's decision to ban the horizontal gas drilling process known as fracking analyzes more than 100 scientific studies that have been approved and distributed by oil and gas industry representatives.


Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is rescheduling a public hearing on two permit renewal applications for the second time. The public hearing is around applications for an underground injection control (UIC) facility near Lochgelly in Fayette County. 

In an email, the DEP said the meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19 in Oak Hill has been postponed a  due to inclement weather conditions.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

A public hearing on two permit renewal applications for an underground injection control (UIC) facility near Lochgelly in Fayette County has been rescheduled for Feb. 19, according to a release. The hearing was initially scheduled for Jan. 7 but had to be postponed due to inclement weather conditions.

The hearing is set for 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Oak Hill High School. The DEP is also accepting written comments until March 1.

Background

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is getting heaped with praise by environmentalists and scorn by business for a state ban on deep hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, even as he insists the decision wasn't his.

Before/After screen capture of the Mark West Plant, a major mid-stream gas processing plant that's in the middle of construction in Doddridge County.
WV Host Farms

Nuisance and negligence lawsuits have been filed this year throughout West Virginia related to horizontal drilling activities. Noise, air, and water pollution, traffic and debris are among complaints. It’s a new industrial world for many West Virginians living in the growing rural gas fields.  

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will move to prohibit fracking in the state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

Amid much controversy, two horizontal gas wells were drilled into the Marcellus shale rock formation in 2011 just barely outside of Morgantown. Now two more wells are slated to be drilled on the same pad in the summer of 2015, but the company, Charleston-based Northeast Natural Energy is teaming up this time with a host of researchers.

Brian Turner / Wikimedia Commons

A former Consol Energy executive has pleaded guilty to stealing $440,000 in gas royalties from the company by forging deed transfers so he could funnel the money into a fake company he ran out of a post office box.

Glynis Board / WVPublic

In September, drilling for shale gas in Doddridge Country went wrong when operators accidentally drilled into one of their own wells that was engaged in production. West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection confirmed late last week that the accident contaminated water wells.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

A new report has just been published that identifies large amounts of toxic chemicals legally used in the oil and gas industry—such chemical-use in any other industrial application is regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Not so for the gas industry.


courtesy of WV Host Farms

For a couple of years now an organization that bubbled up in Doddridge County has been teaming with scientists to try to get a better handle on the impacts of horizontal drilling and the ancillary processes that support it. WV Host Farms brings together landowners, researchers, students, and news reporters to take a close look at what is locally referred to as “ground zero” of Marcellus Shale fracking.

The 4th annual Oil and Gas expo took place yesterday in Morgantown. Over 2000 attendees and 300 vendors met to discuss trade business.

"HydroFrac2" by Mikenorton - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HydroFrac2.svg#mediaviewer/File:HydroFrac2.svg

Drilling for shale gas went wrong last week when operators accidentally drilled into one of their own wells that was engaged in production. The result is possibly contaminated drinking water from at least 12 homes.

Dominion Resources

A series of informational gatherings are underway about a proposed 550-mile gas pipeline called the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion Resources is sponsoring the events.

Roxy Todd

At the end of a 2 and-a-half-mile, single lane road, sits La Paix Herb Farm. Owner Myra Bonhage-Hale is a retired social worker in her 70's. She and her son Bill live here, in a brightly painted, purple homestead that dates back to the 1800's. The house, formerly called the May-Kraus home, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Department of Environmental Protection

The latest figures from the Department of Environmental Protection indicate that there are upwards of 400 horizontal well pads in West Virginia. Sounds pretty straight-forward. What does that mean? How many more will there be?

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

An environmental watchdog non-profit just released a report identifying companies who are using diesel fuel in their horizontal drilling fluids. Apparently, that’s illegal without a special permit.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley wants Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to limit regulation on small oil and gas operators in a law responding to a January chemical spill.

In a July 9 letter, Miley said small, non-Marcellus Shale wells are in "survival mode" and should be exempt from new aboveground tank inspections and registrations.

He says inspections could cost $2,000 per well annually.

Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Environmental Quality Board is reviewing an order issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection that revokes a waste disposal permit. Attorney Tom Rist is representing groups concerned about Danny Webb Construction's waste disposal operation in Fayette County.


Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Danny Webb Construction began shutting down above ground pits last month in Fayette County that held oil and gas waste. The waste likely came from horizontal drilling operations.

In a more recent development, the DEP says a tank that was holding some of that waste, leaked during the process, but was cleaned up.

Concerned citizens have been expressing concerns with this particular operation for years.

Environmental groups ran some tests last year and while results have turned up inconclusive, it still raised red flags.


Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says materials from a pit holding waste of the oil and gas industry, including fracking waste, is being taken to the Raleigh County landfill. The DEP says work is underway to reclaim above ground waste pits months after the state agency ordered it shut down.

The pits were used to remove sediments from the oil and gas waste before injecting underground.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Marshall County's slice of the state oil and gas severance tax is growing.

County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the county's severance tax revenue increased from $71,161 in fiscal 2011 to $429,810 in fiscal 2013.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has ordered a permit for an underground injection well in Fayette County to be revoked.

The DEP renewed the permit for a class two (UIC), or underground injection control disposal well owned by Danny Webb Construction on February 6.

The permit allows the company to accept fluids from oil and gas exploration, development drilling, and production fluids for another five years. 

Bill Hughes

A bill to regulate the disposal of waste produced by gas-well drilling will likely be introduced by the governor in a special session.
 
Lawmakers who negotiated a version both sides could agree on were unable to get the measure passed before midnight Saturday, the deadline for the regular session.

27-year old Ian McKee of Morgantown has been identified as the missing and feared-dead employee from the recent Greene County gas well explosion.

McKee was an employee of Cameron International, a contractor to Chevron, and his friends say he was onsite when the gas well exploded last week.

McKee and much of his immediate family are from Warren, Pa.

Initially, the Pennsylvania State Police set up a two-mile perimeter around the burning gas well. Then, the Wild Well Control crew from Houston, Texas, couldn’t get closer than a half mile because of the heat.

The House Judiciary Committee heard thoughts and concerns during a public hearing over a piece of pending legislation: HB4411 - allowing the disposal of drill cuttings and associated drilling waste generated from fracking sites in commercial solid waste facilities.

Some History:

Some Recent History:

State-Wide Concern:

Some Science:

The Advocate:

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislature

A state Senate committee has approved a proposal to invest some of West Virginia's oil and natural gas revenues for future infrastructure and economic development.

Wikimedia Commons

Water: It flows through our very blood, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells. It flushes waste from our bodies, cushions our joints and allows us to digest and absorb food. The average adult human body is about 60 percent water. Perhaps it’s not surprising that so many are still offended and disturbed by the water crisis in the Kanawha Valley—“Kanawha” which, by the way, means “water way.”

Ashton Marra

Senate President Jeff Kessler introduced his Future Fund legislation into the Senate Friday. The proposal this year, however, is slightly different from years past.

Senate Bill 461 creates the statutory framework for the fund:

-Provides 25 percent of any revenues collected from oil and gas severance taxes over and above $175 million be automatically placed in Future Fund, up from $70 million baseline proposed last year

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